Paper and Internet

Invitations

Ceremony and Luncheon Invitations

Early on in our planning, we saw another bride who had used the same artwork as we did in our ketubah, who had gotten the permission of the artist, Amy Fagin of 20th Century Illuminations, to use portions of the design in her paper products.  NotFroofy was interested in doing the same thing.  I therefore contacted Amy to determine how we could get permission.  She said that she would need to impose a fee for us to use the RAW files of the graphic.  However, we were welcome to use GIF and JPG images available on the Web without charge.

NotFroofy developed the design for our invitations and enclosures, and we then got the paper and printing from Cards and Pockets.  The following were the costs of the printed items we ordered:

  • Invitation card - Snow white 4.5"x6.5" with color printing and full bleed - $0.43 each
  • Accommodation card - cream puff 3.5"x6.75" with black and white printing and full bleed - $0.28 each
  • Menu card - cream puff 3.5"x5.75" with black and white printing and full bleed - $0.28 each
  • RSVP card - cream puff 3.5"x5" with black and white printing and full bleed - $0.25 each

We also purchased the following unprinted items from Cards and Pockets:

  • Signature PocketFolds in Gold
  • Smooth & Metallic Invitation Mats, 4.75"x6.75", in Cranberry (Metallic)
  • 5.25" x 7.25" Envelope, Square-Flap, Cream
  • Custom Cut Paper, 2" x 2.5", in Cranberry (Metallic)

As you can see in the first picture (the open pocketfold) above, the pocketfolds had a flap at the top, then a plain portion, then a portion with the envelope.  On the plain portion, we glued the 4.75"x6.75" cranberry invitation mat, with the invitation card centered on top of the mat.  The accommodation card, menu card, and RSVP card were all inserted into the envelope.  Since we were using the pocketfold with the envelope horizontal, we were concerned about the enclosures falling out.  For extra security, we took some lacy ribbon from Michael's, and glued it between the invitation mat and the pocketfold at the bottom of the invitation mat.  The ribbon went down over the envelope portion of the pocketfold, then around to the outside of the pocketfold, where it continued up to the top of the flap.

We wanted a way that the invitations could be opened, but then closed back up to keep all the attachments inside.  We therefore purchased Basic Grey Magnetic Snaps Small.*/  We folded the pocketfold to its closed position, as seen in the second picture.  We then glued one half of a magnetic snap to the portion of the pocketfold that was just under the flap.  We glued the other half of the snap to the outside of the flap.

However, we did not want the magnet to show on the flap.  We therefore glued the 2" x 2.5" cranberry paper so that it extended over the flap, as shown, covering the snap.  We then got our engagement picture printed on 4" x 6" paper, with 8 copies of the photo on each sheet.  When cut apart, this produced 8 photos that were 2" high and 1.5" wide.  We centered each photo on the mat (in the white space shown on the closed invitation, above).

We did not include envelopes for the RSVP cards.  As discussed below, the RSVP cards merely gave information on how to RSVP at our wedding website.

We got the envelopes postmarked from Bridal Veil, OR.  There is a discussion below on how to do this.


*/ Because we did only a few invitations for the ceremony and luncheon, we used the Basic Grey Magnetic Snaps, which were convenient because the back of each was self-adhesive. However, if we had been doing larger quantities and wanted to save money, we could instead have used the much less expensive disk magnets from Rare Earth Magnets, and just glued them on.

At-Home Reception Invitations

The invitations for the at-home reception were much simpler than the ones for the ceremony and luncheon.  All of our guests were local, so we did not need to provide information on accommodations.  We served only heavy hors d'oeuvres, so we did not need to get guest menu choices.  And because we only needed to provide information on one venue, there was enough room on the invitation card to include RSVP information, so we did not need a card for that.  Thus, while the basic invitation design was similar to that for the ceremony and reception invitations, we just used a flat gold panel card instead of a pocketfold.

Again, we got the invitations postmarked from Bridal Veil, OR, as discussed below.

Stamps and Postmarks  - Bridal Veil, OR Post Office


We had read online about getting invitations postmarked from the Bridal Veil, OR Post Office.  There are two reasons to do this.  First, all invitations sent through that Post Office are hand canceled, so they don't end up with a bunch of smudges from machine cancellation.  Second, the Bridal Veil Post Office takes pride in using appropriate postmarks.  While we knew this was a detail that many of our guests would probably miss, it was a cute and very low-cost idea that we liked.

The two postmarks available are the hearts one and the doves one.  (See samples above.)

The procedure for getting invitations postmarked from Bridal Veil is as follows:

  1. Take an invitation, with its envelope and all of its enclosures, to your local Post Office to get the postage calculated.  Very few invitations are light enough to be sent with just a single first-class stamp.  There are additional charges if a) the invitation weighs more than one ounce, and/or b) if the invitation is thick enough so that it cannot go through a normal machine cancellation.
  2. Decide how many invitations you will be sending.  Purchase all the stamps from the Bridal Veil, OR Post Office.  (It is only good manners to purchase the stamps from there if you are having the invitations postmarked from there, because the sale of stamps is the only way that Post Office makes enough revenue to stay open.)  To do so, send a letter saying how many stamps you want, in what denominations, and whether you want any special design in the event the Post Office makes more than one stamp in that denomination.  (The "love" stamps, for example, are popular for wedding invitations.)  Enclose a check for the total amount of the stamps, and send it to Postmaster Geri Geri Canzler, 1 W Mill Road, Bridal Veil, OR 97010.  (The Postmaster is female, but prefers Postmaster to Postmistress.)
  3. After the stamps arrive, put the stamps on all your invitations.  Then put all the invitations into a box.  Add to the box a letter specifying whether you want the hearts or the doves postmark.  If you want the invitations sent out on a particular day, also include that information in the letter.  If you have more than 50 invitations, there is a processing fee of 5 cents for each invitation over 50, so you should also enclose a check for this amount.  The address to send the box is Postmaster Geri Canzler, 1 W Mill Road, Bridal Veil, OR  97010.

RSVPs

We decided to provide only for online RSVPs.  The vast majority of our guests were frequent computer users, and we did not anticipate a lot of issues with online RSVPs.  (Obviously, this method would not work if you had a lot of guests who did not own computers.)

NotFroofy created our wedding websites (one for the ceremony and luncheon in Massachusetts, a second one for the at-home reception in DC) using WordPress.  She then found a WordPress plug-in that would write responses to RSVPs into a Google docs spreadsheet.  This meant that we always had an updated list of who had responded, what their menu choices were, etc., in one easy-to-read document.

The actual mechanics of the RSVP process were that each invitation had an RSVP code on it.  For the ceremony and luncheon invitations, the code was on a separate RSVP card.  For the at-home reception invitations, the code was on the invitation itself.  Because the code for each invitation was unique, we hand-wrote it on each printed invitation.

When the guest used that code, it brought up a reply place that listed those people included in that invitation.  This eliminated the problem of people sending RSVPs for uninvited guests (dates, children, etc.), which has been a huge problem for many couples.  They had a box to check for each guest which indicated whether the guest was coming.  In the case of the ceremony and luncheon, they could also express preferences on menu choices and accommodations.

For people who would like to use online RSVPs, but do not have the Web design knowledge to develop their own sites, there is a free online RSVP service, AnRSVP.com, that will provide a free customizable RSVP system.

Programs

For most weddings,programs are not really necessary.  However, we were having a Jewish ceremony with several nonJewish guests.  We therefore wanted to have a program that would serve as a mini-prayer book, with the entire text of the ceremony, plus translations and transliterations of the Hebrew portions.  It also included a description of each of the Jewish traditions, a memorial to my former parents-in-law who had recently died, and directions from the ceremony location to the reception location and back to the accommodations.

The programs were set up as a Word document.  The front and back covers were made of 8.5" x 11 inch ivory cardstock, scored so that it could be folded to form an 8.5" x 6.5" booklet, with the design on the front cover based on the design of our ketubah.  (The ketubah art was used with the consent of the artist, Amy Fagin of 20th Century Illuminations.)  Some acrylic jewels were used on the cover, to highlight the scrolls in the design. The first inside page was made of vellum.  It had a line drawing of our synagogue, which overlaid the first parchment page, so that the text on the parchment could be seen through the vellum.  The remaining pages were all parchment.  The program was held together using a ribbon that went between the center pages, and then was tied at the back of the program.  A word document with the entire text of our program can be found at this link.

Maps and Directions - WeddingMapper.com

Because all our guests were coming from out of town, and we didn't necessarily know how they were getting to town, it was very hard for us to produce printed directions. Instead, we had a link from each of our wedding Web sites to a map on WeddingMapper.com. We were able to personalize that map to show the locations of the accommodations, ceremony, and luncheon, each with an appropriate icon. The map was coordinated with Google maps in such a way that guests could get directions from wherever they were starting.

For those who want to include written maps and directions, WeddingMapper.com even provides a tutorial on how to modify a WeddingMapper.com map to produce a printed map.

Photo Sharing Cards

We had a professional photographer only for the ceremony.  We wanted to get copies of any amateur photos taken at the ceremony, luncheon, or at-home reception.  We therefore set up a photo-sharing site at Winkflash.  We chose Winkflash because, unlike many other free sites, a) it allowed unlimited uploads and downloads, and b) it allowed for free download of the full hi res images.

We found an offer from Vistaprint for premium business cards at a very low price, and used that for our photo sharing cards.  Such offers are frequent, and can often be found just by searching on Google for "Vistaprint free business card."

Thank You Cards

When got our first gift, we decided we really needed to get moving on ordering the thank you cards.  NotFroofy designed them for us, again based on the design of our ketubah. We  got 7" x 5" cream puff cards from Cards & Pockets--the same size we used for our invitations.  However, the design was on just the bottom half of the card, and the card had a score so that it could be folded to form a 3.5" x 5" note card.  These fit neatly into the standard 3.625" x 5.125" envelopes normally used for RSVP cards, which we also ordered in cream puff.  The total cost was $0.47 each for the thank you cards, plus the cost of the envelopes.

"Closed" Signs

Most of the signs at our reception were backlit, and a description of how we made them can be found in the lighting section.  However, because our venue was so huge, we wanted to close off some areas so that our guests would not be rattling around in there.  We therefore made some "Closed" signs for those area.

To make them, we bought the following from Michael's:

  • Double matting in ivory outside and gold inside
  • Dark brown construction paper
  • K & Company self-adhesive chipboard letters in gold
  • Gold metallic ribbon

We glued the two mats together.  We then cut out a piece of the construction paper just slightly smaller than the mats.  We took four pieces of ribbon, and glued the end of each to the back of the matting, on the top and bottom of each side, slanted slightly upward.  We then glued the piece of construction paper to the back of the mats, so that the end of each piece of ribbon was sandwiched between the construction paper and the gold mat, and the ribbon was slanted slightly upward.  Finally, we used the gold letters to spell out the word, "Closed."  When the glue had dried, we were able to tack or pin each of the four ribbons to the sides of a doorway to warn guests not to go through that doorway.